December Challenge

Good morning and happy December to you all!  It is one of my favourite months, I love all things festive and spending so much family time having fun!  What are you looking forward to this month?

Last Month’s Challenge

In November I set myself a challenge to give myself some time each day to complete a task for myself. I honestly didn’t keep up with it as the month went a little awry with Ste being taken into hospital. However, I found time to make sure I kept up some semblance of self care. Ste was originally taken into Derby hospital as he became ill while staying with me but was then transferred to his specialist hospital in Leeds. This meant it became difficult to see him as often as the drive takes its toll, especially when I’m not 100% myself. Ste definitely helped me with this. He knows that I would do the drive, every day, even if it made me poorly so he told me I wasn’t to. This took a lot of pressure off me which was great. Although I didn’t do an individual thing every day of the month, I did do the majority of the things on my list at some point during November, and will definitely revisit this challenge again next year. 

December Challenge

So onto December. This month I decided I wanted to do a photo challenge. It is a skill I really want to start improving and I felt this month would be a perfect time to start with lots of fab photo opportunities. My lovely friend and fellow blogger – @thegranthams – is hosting a photo challenge over on her Instagram this month and so I’ve decided to join her. She’s also offering a prize for one lucky person who joins in which is perfect for this time of year, a £100 Amazon giftcard. Be sure to head on over, check it out and join in – you might be the lucky winner!

I hope you decided to participate and I will be looking forward to seeing everyones festive pics! You can find me on Instagram by my username @thespooniemummy 

The Snowman Tour – Christmas 2018

I know, I know it is only September –  but I am already in planning mode for Christmas!  As I only have the boys for half of the holidays and every other weekend in the lead up to Christmas, I have to be especially on the ball and make sure I book things early so we don’t miss out.

This year I wanted to share one of the things I will be doing in December.  The Snowman has always been one of my favourite Christmas films and I was delighted when Carrot Productions asked me to be one of their bloggers for this years The Snowman Live tour.

© Snowman Enterprises Limited

For those who don’t know (shock horror) – The Snowman was originally a children’s picture book, written by Raymond Briggs.  It was then released as a short film in the early 80’s and has been shown pretty much every year since at Christmas time.  Carrot Productions have bought the film to life, presenting it in many different venues around the country on a big screen alongside a full orchestra.

Photography © Gareth Widdowson

This year, the performance will also feature a brand new short film – A Donkey’s Tale –  – accompanied by the orchestra, a visit from The Snowman himself, and a fun introduction to the orchestra (please note – some venues will be showing The Bear and the Piano as their short film).

Some performances are already sold out and they are predicted to be all sold out before December so don’t miss out – book today!  I am attending one of the performances in The Octagon, Buxton.  I can’t wait as I know that it has recently been refurbished and the area around The Pavilion is lovely.

Check out venues, dates and book your tickets click here!

I really love attending things like this – it will get us right in the mood for Christmas at the beginning of December – perfect timing!  What is your favourite Christmas film?  Let me know in the comments below!

NatalieThe Spoonie Mummy

Thankyou to Carrot Productions for including me in the tour – I have received free tickets in return for my posting about it but all opinions expressed are my own

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BlogMas Day 23 – December Favourites

So with it being BlogMas I haven’t done a Five Friday Favourites post in a while, so I thought I would round them up in a monthly favourites post instead. There is a whole range of different things to share so I hope you enjoy reading through and maybe get some inspiration to give some of them a try yourself!

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First up is the current book I’m reading, Some Kind Of Wonderful by Giovanna Fletcher. I am only just over half way but it’s a real can’t put downer and I’m sure I will have it finished very soon. I will be sure to post a review once I have completely finished to let you all know what I think, but if you are looking for an easy, enjoyable, girlie read, this one is for you!

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Next up is the six part series of Alias Grace I’ve just finished watching on Netflix. Set in 19th century Canada, it’s the story of Grace, who was found guilty of murder in her teens. She is visited by a doctor, employed to see if she can be released on grounds of insanity and she tells him her story. I really enjoyed the series and was completely sucked in from the first episode. There was a slightly unexpected twist near the end for me but it didn’t make it any less enjoyable and although left with questions, I’m happy it ended the way it did. So did she or didn’t she?!

 

 

Next up are these two, my wonderful parents. They have been there for me through another difficult month with having Ste in hospital as well as the boys not being here every day to keep me going. They are currently going through a lot themselves, which I will go into at another time, yet they still make time for us and make sure we are all ok. I don’t tell them enough I’m sure, how lucky and grateful I am to them so here I am, telling everyone – my parents are amazing! Love you both!

 

 

I received this amazing artwork as a gift and it is truly beautiful. It’s going to go up in our bedroom which we are currently getting sorted and decorated as I want to use touches of pink and purple in there to go with the cream and light grey for a pop of colour. It is the first piece of ‘proper’ artwork I have owned and it is all marked up as only so many of each one is reproduced so it has an exclusivity about it. It comes from a website called Stag & Raven (which you can visit here) who specialise in tattoo art. Me and Ste both have tattoos and they are pretty popular in the IBD community. Many of my friends have some beautiful pieces, covering up scars and around their bags etc. The prices are super reasonable for what you get and they come well packaged and are very high quality. Definitely a good one to check out if you want some amazing pieces for your house at great prices, or are looking for a special gift.

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I was super pleased to receive my cards through the post this month. I’m planning on attending some events next year and want to be able to make the blog bigger, well known and trusted amongst mum’s, ostomates and spoonie’s alike. I’m looking forward to some exciting opportunities and these will help me be able to connect with more people, more easily. I also got a matching pen for when I’m out and about so everyone knows who I am!

 

 

We have all been really impressed with the Wilkos Blox Advent Calendar. So much cheaper than the Lego version at only £8 but some great little models which the boys have really enjoyed putting together. They have now had a few sets of these (and Santa may be bringing some more). The price is so much more reasonable than Lego but they do connect with the Lego bricks so the boys can put it all together and play as one toy. The castle is pretty epic (and only £20), Leo enjoyed putting the bus together for last year’s Advent and the dragon family was another favourite. Definitely worth checking out if you have a Lego fan!

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I had to include my new mug in my favourites! Those of you who follow me on Instagram (check out http://www.instagram.com/thespooniemummy) will have seen it already but I couldn’t resist. It came from B&M and was only £1.50. It is a good size and covered in my favourites – flamingoes!

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I got one of my Christmas presents from Ste early as it was my advent calendar. I was so pleased he got me this one, as although he sometimes moans about the amount of candles I buy, he knew I would love it. The scents are gorgeous and Christmassy and Yankee really are one of the best at making your whole house smell amazing. Did you have an Advent this year? Let me know which one in the comments below.

 

 

I am so pleased my local Asda has started to stock the ‘wonky veg’ boxes. They are just £3.50 each and you get plenty of veg for the whole week in there! It’s supposed to be the stuff that is less aesthetically pleasing but for the most part I see nothing wrong with it and the taste is certainly no different! The only extras I’ve needed to buy are more potatoes and some garlic and I’ve had two now. Brilliant bargain for families so make sure you keep an eye out in your local Asda.

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And last but not least, me and Riley made our front cover debut on the Winter edition of Respond’s magazine, Connect. This was a gorgeous photo taken by my mum last Winter. We had such a great day, seeing a Christmas show and then going ice skating. The boys hadn’t done it before (and neither had I since being a teen) but we all had an amazing time. Check out the online magazine here and you will be able to find details on the website about how you can receive your copy through the post. The magazine is full of great content and also features my lovely co-host of The IBD & Ostomy Support Show, Louise and her story.

So there’s a round up of some of my favourites this month. From January I will be doing a monthly, rather than weekly round up of my favourite things as I am planning to change around my schedule a bit. Let me know in the comments below what your favourite things this month have been and I look forward to reading them.

BlogMas Day Six – December Goals

I have come across some great bloggers through Twitter (you can visit me there by clicking here and one of them is Burnished Chaos (visit her blog by clicking on the name).

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Every month she does a brilliant post listing her goals for the coming month, as well as revisiting last month’s goals and commenting on how well she got on with them (see her December post here).  I have really enjoyed reading these posts and I think it is a great way to do it so am giving it a try this month and will let you know next month how I have done!  No pressure!

I am going to split my goals into five categories – family, home, blog, uni and me.  I am super excited to be giving myself something to aim for during the month, and feeling that as I have to report back to you all next month that it will help push me to complete them.  Making goals, and more importantly, writing them down, always make them seem easier to accomplish.  You have something to focus on and when I tick something off a list I feel extremely satisfied.  On the same score I don’t want to give myself too much to do and feel overwhelmed, so although I may do lots more this month, I will be very happy to get these things done.

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Family

  • Complete Christmas shopping
  • Take the boys to Asda to purchase a gift for a child in need
  • Enjoy a fantastic Christmas

Home

  • Complete front room move around
  • Sort wardrobes and get new bedroom furniture in place

Blog

  • Schedule posts to go up over the Christmas/New Year week
  • Complete BlogMas
  • Complete two posts for Stephie (Colitis To Ostomy)

Uni

  • Complete all reading and activities for chapters 3 and 4

Me

  • Pilates at least three times a week
  • Increase hydration – aim for 3 litres a day
  • Remind myself it is ok to say no sometimes

So there we go, my first set of monthly goals.  As I said, I will report back at the beginning of January and hope I have succeeded in completing them.  Do you plan goals for each month?  Please let me know how you do it in the comments below, and please feel free to try this method and let me know how you get on.

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Lucy At Home